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Fiction by Norwegian Women

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Colors of Nina Simone

by  Cassia Lupo
 by Martha Rich


The Colors of Nina Simone
I'm preparing for my father to come home from a rehab facility. We were listening to Nina all day yesterday and he sharing his many Nina stories. My father and I saw Nina Simone together at the Chestnut Street Cabaret here in Philadelphia. What a venue-now sadly no more. She was about five or six hours late and the audience didn't mine a bit because we were waiting for the Queen and though a little testy she delivered!!!

by Nannette Harris
Checkout Belgian, Moroccan, Egyptian, and Palestinian singer Natacha Atlas, now based in England, and her version of Simone’s I Put a Spell On You.
by Leonardo Rodriguez


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gabriel García Márquez- March 6, 1927 – April 17, 2014

"He Gave Us Back Our History": Isabel Allende on Gabriel García Márquez in Exclusive Interview

Illustration by David Levine

Monday, April 7, 2014

Third World Press Call for Submissions for Anthology to Celebrate Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka, 2013, by Victoria Smith

Third World Press is sending this “Call for Submissions” on behalf of the editors of the forthcoming anthology celebrating the life and legacy of Amiri Baraka.

Brilliant Fire! Amiri Baraka
Poems, Plays, Politics for the People
Editors: Haki R. Madhubuti, Michael Simanga, Sonia Sanchez and  Woodie King Jr.
Submission deadline is  April 30, 2014. For more information contact .

RISE ! Bravo to the Women of Afghanistan Who Helped to Swell the Presidential Election Turnout

The courageous women of Afghanistan lined up to vote Sunday, in spite of dangerous threats made by the Taliban. 

Saheera Sharif, the founder of Mirman Baheer (upper center); Ogai Amail, a poet and member of the group (bottom left); also pictured are other members of the poets’ group. Photo-Seamus Murphy/VII for The New York Times

Here is a link to the article about the a women's poetry collective in Afghanistan.

Here also is a link to the 

Afghan Women’s Writers Project

Give These Sisters Our Support !

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dare Disturb the Universe - Bravo to Activist Poet Shailja Patel

At the close of the 2014 Split This Rock Poetry Festival,  Kenyan poet and activist Shailja Patel, inspired by the  Guantanamo prisoners who  scratched poems on a styrofoam cup with pebbles, passed it from cage to cage, until it was discovered and smashed by their jailers, did a necessary act.  She wrote and read the names of the many girls killed by U.S. drones on a paper cup.  She read these names introduced by President Obama’s words delivered at the 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner: "The Jonas Brothers are here, they're out there somewhere. (Applause) Sasha and Malia are huge fans, but boys, don't get any ideas (laughter). Two words for you: predator drones (Laughter). You will never see it coming (Laughter). You think I'm joking? (Laughter).”

 We all love our babies.
Activist Poet Shailja Patel reading the names of the many girls killed by U.S. drones.

By Solmaz  Sharif

…Let this be the Body
through which the War has passed.
—Frank Bidart

somewhere I did not learn mow down or mop up • somewhere I wouldn’t hear your father must come with me or I must fingerprint your grandmother can you translate please • the FBI has my cousins’ computers • my father says say whatever you want over the phone • my father says don’t let them scare you that’s what they want • my mother has a hard time believing anything’s bugged • my father and I always talk like the world listens • my father is still on the bus with contraband papers under his seat as uniforms storm down the aisle • it was my job to put a cross on each home with dead for clearing • it was my job to dig graves into the soccer field • I wrote red tracksuit • I wrote Shahida, headless, found beside Saad Mosque  buried in the same grave as the above • I wrote unidentified fingers  found inside Oldsmobile car • I wrote their epitaphs in chalk • from my son’s wedding mattress I know this mound’s his room • I dropped to a knee and engaged the enemy • I emptied my clip then finished the job • I took two steps in and threw a grenade • I took no more than two steps into a room before firing • in Haditha we cleared homes Fallujah-style • my father was reading the Koran when they shot him through the chest • they fired into the closet • the kitchen • the ninety-year-old standing over the stove • just where was I • uno a uno tu cara en todos los buses urbanos  Here lie the mortal remains of one who in life searched your face • call me when you get home • let’s miss an appointment together • let’s miss another flight to repeated strip searches • that Haditha bed • magenta queen sheets and a wood-shelved headboard and blood splattered up the walls to the ceiling • they held each other • they slept on opposing ends wishing one would leave • mother doesn’t know who I am anymore • I write Mustapha Mohammad Khalaf, fifteen months old • I write Here lies an unknown martyr, a big security guard with a blue shirt, found near an industrial area with a chain of keys  Martyr unknown, only bones • they ask if I have anything to declare then limit my response to fruits and nuts • an American interrupts an A and B conversation to tell me you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do • he strikes me as a misstep away from she was asking for it • what did you expect after fishing Popov from a trash bin • what did you expect after accepting a marbled palace • they drag the man who killed my uncle out of a hole • they inspect him for ticks on national television • no one in my family celebrates • when the FBI knocks I tell them I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do; they get a kick out of that • she just lay there and took it like a champ • she was dying for it • at a protest a man sells a shirt that says My dick would pull out of Iraq • my mother tape-records my laugh to mail bubble-wrapped back home • my mother records me singing Ye shabe mahtab mah meeyad to khab • I am singing the moon will come one night and take me away sidestreet by sidestreet • sitting on a pilled suburban carpet or picking blue felt off the hand-me-down couch • the displaced whatnots • I practice the work of worms • how much I can wear away with no one watching • two generations ago my blood moved through borders according to grazing and seasons • then a lifeline of planes • planes fly so close to my head filled with bomblets and disappeared men • scaffolding sprouts nooses sagging with my dead • I burn my finger on the broiler and smell trenches • my uncle pissing himself • shopping bags are legs • there is half a head in the gutter • I say Hello NSA when I place a call • somewhere a file details my sexual habits • some tribunal may read it all back to me • Golsorkhi, I know the cell they will put me in • they put me onto a crooked pile of others to rot • is this what happens to a brain born into war • a city of broken teeth • the thuds of falling • we have learned to sing a child calm in a bomb shelter • I am singing to her still